Christmas presents stress me out. I freak out about how much they cost (Why are we spending so much when we need to put in a new drain in front of the garage?); I get fed up by the tit-for-tat expectations (So-and-So is spending this much on me so I have to spend that same amount on So-and-So.); and I get a bit self-righteous about the materialism (I'm not even religious, but this is not what Christmas is all about!).
So, for those people in my life whom I want to give a thoughtful present to—but don't have the pressure of a present swap—I like to give homemade gifts of food. Whether it's for a friend, a neighbor, or my son's preschool teacher, I think it's a lovely way to say, "I appreciate you."
Now, there are a million amazing food gifts you can give. I've got nothing against cookies, truffles, or brownies, but I'm already up to my eyeballs in all these sugary goodies. So, I made this simple, sophisticated, savory snack. Tastes delish and looks lovely in a glass jar...what more could you ask for? Oh, how about affordable? Because it's that, too. It can be enjoyed with crackers or crusty bread, on a salad, or atop hot pasta. Yum!
This is really a technique more than a recipe. Amounts will vary based on what size jar you're using and what dried herbs you've got on hand.
What you'll need:
- plain Goat or Feta cheese
- dried herbs, whole and/or chopped
- good-quality extra virgin olive oil
- red pepper flakes
For the goat cheese, I got a large log and cut it into about one-ounce portions. I formed balls with my hands. I added a bit of the oil and some herbs to the bottom of the jar; I used a jam jar, after cleaning it and removing the label. I put in some dried, crushed bush basil, freshly-ground lemon pepper, and a pinch of red pepper flakes.
|Cute labels cut out of Trader Joe's holiday shopping bag. Reduce, reuse, and recycle, y'all!|
I did basically the same thing for the feta, but I diced it.
Check it out: our Herb-Marinated Cheeses were included in this gorgeous round-up on edible holiday gifts from Food Apparel!
Interested in a vegan version? Check out this Marinated Garlic from Life Currents (we've been lucky enough to have her guest post here on our blog!).